Go Inside the Mighty Mercantile Back in '58

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Heritage Auction Galleries/Hedrich Blessing
R.L. Thornton had himself one groovy penthouse atop the Mercantile Bank Building.
While browsing the Heritage Auction Galleries site late last night, in search of something entirely unrelated (this, if you must know), I came across a most estimable offering from the June Signature Photography Fine Art Auction: 17 rarely seen photos taken inside the Mercantile Bank Building shortly after its '58 redo, when the original tower was replaced with the clock that's there now. All 17 are credited to Hedrich Blessing, the legendary architectural-photo firm based out of Chicago and immortalized in the 2000 collection Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing.

They're not inexpensive -- Heritage guesstimates they'll sell for somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000. But the great thing about our across-the-street neighbor is the Web site allows you to not only sneak-peek the pictures but dive right in -- so much so that you can see the details on Millard Sheets's famous murals (which Tim Headington promises to do something with some day) and read the plaques behind the giant desk in the office of former Dallas mayor and Mercantile Bank president R.L. Thornton. And, sweet fancy Moses, that has to be the most exquisite bank drive-thru in the history of money.

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